This is something that has been on my mind lately. Vegan and Vegetarian. It is becoming more and more popular now days, and even though I am not either, I can absolutely see the appeal.
I personally don't have a problem with eating animals, I think it is in our DNA. (Not trying to upset anyone, this is just my personal opinion) What I do have a problem with is the large scale slaughterhouses and animals being treated poorly. If you aren't sure what I am talking about, there are several video, articles, and documentaries that will go into such detail. Here are a couple: Food Inc. & What happens at a slaughterhouse - be warned, these are graphic.
I believe that every animal should have a happy and healthy life. Many animals grown for large scale production are confined. Sometimes they never see the outside or daylight. They don't have any personal space, space to run or move freely, and are very crowded. I also believe every animal should be treated with kindness. Never kicking or hitting the larger animals, or doing anything to harm them. There should also never be lack of food. Many times, before animals go to market in the large scale- they don't receive any food the last couple of days. This is so they will "clean up" after themselves. Think about that. Eating any spilled food, but also droppings, and sometimes others (in extreme cases). There is no personal connection with these animals. The owner is usually at this point, "hand off". They have hired hands who do all the grunt work of taking care of these animals.
Another aspect of large scale AG that makes me sad, is the lack of connection with food now days. The thought of a hamburger once being a cow doesn't cross the mind of many. Where that cow was raised, and how it was raised, handled, and processed. Not having an emotional connection with your food, makes it very easy to waste it. Your food loses its value and becomes less precious.
For me, it is becoming harder to eat meat that we haven't personally raised and processed, or meat that was raised by a farmer I personally know and their practices. You may be thinking it's crazy to raise a chicken, build a relationship with it, care for it every day, only to kill it and eat it. This is how our society has changed. Way back when, if you weren't raising your own meat, then you weren't eating any. We have an "agreement" with our animals. We provide them with the best life and the best death possible. Children to play with them, high quality feed, and free range in exchange for their ultimate sacrifice. Maybe you can understand this, maybe not.
Killing an animal is never easy, but I can say it really makes you look at your food differently. You have a sense of appreciation that you maybe didn't have before. When we process and eat one of our beloved chickens, nothing goes to waste. The organs and other parts that we don't personally eat- becomes ground dog food. The feet and necks get saved and I make a wonderful and pure chicken stock. And after cooking the chicken, we eat it all. Left overs go to soups, pastas, and quesadillas. That animal sacrificed their life for us, so we don't want to waste it.
It makes my heart happy that this is becoming more important to people. I know it isn't possible for everyone to raise their own animals for butcher, and maybe that is why some choose vegetarian? But it is possible to think about what you are buying. Food with integrity is important to Tyler and me. This is why we do it. So that we have the option and we can control the environment. We also want to share this option with others in hopes of slowly changing the way people view their food.
The Holton Homestead